January 25, 2022

listeners flock to France Inter and flee Europe 1

Laurence Bloch rubs her hands. France Inter, the radio station she has run since 2014, broke an absolute audience record on the last wave, from November-December 2021, examined by Médiamétrie. General public service radio attracted 6.959 million listeners, or 55,000 additional listeners in one year, and 12.7% of cumulative audience.

“Knowing that no station has ever reached this level is the best answer we can give to critics of public service”, she congratulates herself. “We take our listeners for free and enlightened citizens: there is no clash, no editorial writers’ tables who do not know the field, but news. ” She also assumes the recruitment of chroniclers like Alexandre Devecchio (Figaro Vox), Etienne Gernelle (Point) or Natacha Polony (Marianne). “The 7 am / 7:30 am achieves one of the best audiences of the morning. We needed to have another line. My job is to represent all the trends ”, she declares.

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A shadow appears on the board, however: the station’s audience share, which also takes into account the listener’s listening time and which serves as a barometer for advertisers, fell by 1.1 points to 13.6 %. “It remains a record. Last year, the confinement and the curfew had generated exceptional listening times ”, she continues, while the management of Radio France is considering her succession, even if officially, no decision has been taken and if no departure date has been communicated. “It’s a subject between me and the president [Sibyle Veil]. All I can say is that I have my summer grid “, explains Laurence Bloch. The one who entered Radio France in 1974, during an internship, will be 70 years old on August 30, 2022, and specifies that there is no “Not necessarily an age limit”.

If France Culture is also doing well (1.712 million listeners, or a cumulative audience of 3.1%), Franceinfo has fallen by one point over one year, with 8.5% cumulative audience. Every day 4.68 million listeners listen to it. “There is a form of public weariness vis-à-vis the Covid-19, and this, while the presidential campaign has not started”, justifies Jean-Philippe Baille, the director of the antenna, recalling that in 2021 all the attention was focused on the pandemic. He hopes to make up for it this semester, thanks to political news. “It’s a nice score for the public service, to attract 15.5 million listeners every day, and to have the first (France Inter) and the third (Franceinfo) station in France”, assures Dana Hastier, the director of the antennas of Radio France.

“Risk taking”

Eternal rival of France Inter, RTL attracted 6.013 million listeners (11% cumulative audience), or 105,000 fewer listeners in one year. But his boss, Régis Ravanas, prefers to focus on the famous audience share, crucial for its advertising revenue, which has increased by 0.7 point, to 13.3%, and which reflects an increase in the duration listening for six minutes per day on average.

“Our back-to-school risk-taking is paying off”, testifies the leader, citing pell-mell the one hour extension of Julien Courbet’s program, the replacement of Jacques Pradel by Jean-Alphonse Richard to host “The Hour of Crime”, or the change of schedule by Pascal Praud, now scheduled for 1 p.m. “Its audience share increased by 24%”, welcomes Régis Ravanas. Europe 1, the station in difficulty of Lagardère about to be swallowed by Vivendi, the group of Vincent Bolloré, would she not want to bring in this close cousin, who works first on CNews (Vivendi)? « Joker », replies the boss of the radio.

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In the landscape, Europe 1, redesigned at the start of the 2021 school year, sinks into ever deeper waters. It had no more than 2.279 million listeners over the period November-December, losing 448,000 listeners. The cumulative audience reached barely 4.2% (- 0.8 point) and the audience share 3.4%. The station continues to suffer from the departure of the comedian Nicolas Canteloup, crossroads of the morning, which it nevertheless decided. Without its new grid having borne fruit for the time being. For this wave, Constance Benqué, his boss, did not wish to speak. In a press release, the station prefers to detect an early recovery in its afternoons on “The CSP + compared to September November 2021”.